2009 Press Releases

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Roberts, Vornholt Share Inaugural John H. Winant Award

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org
Patrick Dunne, (202) 783-9263, pdunne@nbaa.org

Orlando, FL, October 21, 2009 – Two former members of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Board of Directors, Phil Roberts and David Vornholt, today received the Association’s inaugural John H. Winant Award, which recognizes NBAA Directors whose service to business aviation extends well beyond their tenure on the Board.

Ohio natives Roberts and Vornholt have remained staunch advocates for business aviation since leaving NBAA’s Board.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen congratulated Roberts and Vornholt on their award, and their service to the industry. “John Winant set an example for the rest of us to follow, with a commitment to business aviation that extended well beyond his tenure with NBAA. Phil and Dave have followed in that tradition, which is why we honor them with this award.”

Roberts, a former director of corporate travel for the Ford Motor Company and past NBAA chairman who served on the Association’s Board for more than a decade, has continued to champion business aviation safety and education. He encouraged Ohio’s Sinclair College to add business aviation content to its aviation courses and has taught at the institution.

Vornholt, who was a flight department manager for several NBAA Member Companies, including American Express and Penske, has pursued his passion for aviation history by joining the Board of Nomination of the National Aviation Hall of Fame and becoming a trustee of the organization. He continues to fly a Piper Comanche and is active in the International Comanche Society.

Both men were instrumental in founding the Ohio Regional Business Aviation Association. They also have been involved in the Ohio aerospace initiative, an educational effort to ensure that the state has a well-qualified aerospace workforce.

On receiving the award, Roberts said, “I can’t describe what an honor it is to be associated with John Winant, and I am pleased to be sharing the award with David Vornholt.”

Vornholt says Winant’s accomplishments can motivate a whole new generation. “John’s leadership is as relevant today as ever. His willingness to serve was inspirational.”

Winant’s association with NBAA extended over five decades. Elected to the Association’s Board of Directors in 1957, he served in all of NBAA’s volunteer-elected officer positions, including what was then president from 1961 to 1964, and remained on the Board until his appointment as chief staff executive in 1971. Winant served as NBAA president from 1971 until 1986.

Even in retirement, Winant remained active in his support for NBAA and business aviation. In 1989, he authored Keep Business Flying, which covered the development of business aviation and NBAA from 1947 to 1986. He later co-authored NBAA Works, which catalogued the spirit and achievement of NBAA from 1986 to 2002.

View the photo gallery from the awards presention.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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